There is one tradition I have done for more than one party...pinatas. I love pinatas. Probably because I never had a pinata. Plus it's a fun word to say...pin-ya-ta. Say it. Love it.
For either safety reasons or because someones feelings might get hurt if they are not the one who breaks it open, pinatas are not the same anymore. Now, they come with strings you pull. Only one secret string breaks open the pinata. What?
Forget that. I want kids swinging a bat at a paper mache concoction that we created as a family in hopes of releasing the hidden contents. So, we make our own. It takes about a week and it's crazy, but I love it.
I don't use your standard balloon. I use one of those Hopper balls. Except I bought mine at Walmart on clearance for about $3. I make a paper mache paste of flour, water and glue. I do a layer at a time and let it dry before doing another one, with newspaper strips going in the opposite direction. If the first layer is horizontal, then the second layer goes vertical. I do about three layers. Any more than that and it would be too hard...like the first one I made with 5 layers. A grown up had to hit the thing to break it open. I leave the handle uncovered and the little hole at the bottom where the pin is uncovered. After I cover the whole ball and it's dry, I take out the pin, let the air out and the ball comes out the top where the handle is just fine. I did have to slightly grease the ball with petroleum jelly first. Just a thin layer will do. I also found out that if you dip the strips of paper in and only get paste on one side of the strip, putting the dry side of the strip on the ball, with the wet part facing out, it is much less likely to stick. I have two that are lopsided because they stuck. My kids plan on making crazy monsters, so lopsidedness doesn't really matter.Gesso is fabulous. It makes a paintable surface smooth and basic before you get painting. It's a primer.
I'm waiting for the gesso to dry. Tomorrow the kids will paint theirs. I'll post pics of the finished products later.
By the way, parties are fun.